Best wishes for Valentines and Ash Wednesday

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

By Steve Stricker

Writing this last Tuesday, Feb. 6, hero mom, “Gert’s” 111th birthday, my forever Happy Valentine.  Gert was my rock and no one has ever come close to the unconditional love she gave to me – good luck to you today! 

For months, dumped on by stuff like straws on the proverbial camel’s back – beginning with Sleet/Snow/Ice storm on Sunday afternoon, January 14 that trapped me in my steep Oxford location for eight days as it did in February 2021 – and two weeks, no electricity Ice Storm 1994!  

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Single digit temps messed up my garage door opener and trying to fix destroyed the perhaps ready to die 24-year-old motor, had to shovel out mile-long driveway while waiting for door fix guy on Saturday, January 27 – new motor, garage door fixed, “$1,000!” Agh!  But fixed, works, done!  

Experiencing persistent cough and wheezing for over a year, convinced I had cancer; inguinal hernia; torn left rotator cuff; sore left knee sore repeating after surgery years ago; severe vision issues; hoarseness; stomach issues, concerned about my lungs, liver and kidneys from love of bourbon, back pain from a plethora of herniated discs, etc. Ha, sounds like you, huh? 

Then, against 1 in 13,000 odds, inguinal hernia healed itself (God); rotator cuff is okay (God), “You lucky duck!” (Dr. Ed Field); as long as I’m active and walking knee pain goes away; hoarseness gone after quit gargling with Listerine (duh); waiting for miracle from St. Joseph’s “never failed” novena to restore my vision – then, that other stuff.

2:30 pm Wednesday, February 7, CT (Computed Tomography) scan with Contrast (injected dye) at the Oxford Diagnostic Center on Azalea Drive for, uh, Lung Cancer…!  Kidney function blood draw “Perfect” 1.1 on scale for adult males of 0.59 to 1.35.  Whew!  Love my bourbon, slowly sip, no booze several days a week to rest kidneys and liver.

CT scan only took a few minutes, out by 2:50 pm – but, because later in afternoon, results not ready until next day…long, long, overnight wait…do you have cancer or not?  Thursday, February 8, at St. John’s at church before 8:30am Mass, Dr. Castle called – “ALL CLEAR, NO CANCER, liver and kidneys are fine!” WHEW!! Thank you, God!!!!

Good luck to y’all in a relationship today, I’ll take this “no cancer” news over a girl any day as this solidifies my near future – yours does not!  One of my favorite things is being in Kroger, Walmart and watching “Put it off to the last minute” guys scrambling to get wilted flowers, stale chocolate, oversized useless stuff animals and with proud of themselves smirk, checked out.  No, you are soon to be without that lady as she will sniff out your loser self….

So, Fat Tuesday yesterday, February 13, regular 3-month checkup with Dr. Castle (OK), Best Wishes today Valentine’s Day people, also, ironically, Ash Wednesday…Lent begins today – “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return!” I’m in the desert of no booze, fasting, giving up, till Easter Sunday today – I love Lent!  

Son Stephen and his sons, my twin grandsons, Trent and Thomas will be here tomorrow, Thursday, February 15 from Florissant, KY (part of my Christmas), as the boys applied and were accepted to perform (trumpet, they are so professional already) in the Ole Miss Honors Band, as did Stephen when he was a Senior in High School. YAY – can’t wait to see them again!!!

Pray, truly, humbly rust God, and all will be swell….  Go Baseball Rebels and hero Coach Mike Bianco, first game Hawaii, this Friday, February 16!

 Stricker is an Oxford resident and received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Counseling) from Ole Miss.